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'Goldilocks' jobs data propels Wall St. to best day since August

Stock MarketsOct 04, 2019 09:13PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Wall Street surged on Friday after moderate jobs growth in September offered relief from a spate of dismal economic data this week that has rankled markets and fueled concerns that the world's largest economy may be sliding into a recession.

A rally in technology stocks led by Apple Inc (O:AAPL) also helped lift the benchmark indexes at the end of a rollercoaster week. After losing about 3% over Tuesday and Wednesday, the S&P 500 (SPX) on Friday logged its biggest one-day gain since Aug. 16, thanks in part to a late-session surge.

Still, for a third consecutive week the Dow and S&P 500 lost ground.

The Labor Department's report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 136,000 last month and the unemployment rate dropped to a 50-year low, but manufacturing payrolls declined for the first time in six months.

"It's sort of a Goldilocks report: it's not strong enough to move the Federal Reserve away from cutting rates at the end of October, but it's not weak enough to make you concerned about the labor market or the consumer," said Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management in New York.

Bets that the Fed will cut interest rates have surged this week after a dramatic contraction in U.S. manufacturing, cooling private sector hiring, and a fall in service sector activity pointed to widening fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.

Traders see a 77.5% chance that the central bank will lower borrowing costs at its policy meeting later this month, up from 40% on Monday. The Fed cut rates in September for the second time this year and said future reductions would be "data-dependent."

With fears related to the trade war and its effect on the U.S. economy weighing on sentiment, the S&P 500 is up 2% over the past 12 months, and about 2% off its record high close in July.

"Although market participants have been selling stocks and buying bonds, at the end of the day you say, 'Gee, I still have to have some return for my investment, and that's going to come from stocks,'" said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments.

Apple Inc (O:AAPL) shares rose 2.8% after a report that the company would ramp up production of iPhone 11 models.

The S&P information technology index (SPLRCT) climbed 1.7%, while the Philadelphia chip index (SOX) advanced 1.9%.

All 11 major sector indexes rose, led by a 1.9% jump in the S&P financials (SPSY).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) jumped 1.42% to close at 26,573.72 points, while the S&P 500 (SPX) also surged 1.42%, finishing at 2,952.01.

The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 1.4% to end at 7,982.47.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was light at 5.9 billion shares, compared with the 7.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 0.3%, the Dow lost 0.9% and the Nasdaq added 0.5%.

During Friday's session, HP Inc (N:HPQ) tumbled 9.6% after the computer maker said it would cut up to 16% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan that would result in an overall charge of $1 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.26-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 17 new highs and 70 new lows.

'Goldilocks' jobs data propels Wall St. to best day since August
 

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Comments (10)
Super Vicious
Super Vicious Oct 05, 2019 9:26AM ET
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I'm afraid a big crash us coming - suddenly, like shock
Van Doza
Van Doza Oct 05, 2019 9:26AM ET
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Fear is fear; what are you araid of?
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Oct 04, 2019 2:52PM ET
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fake bull is coming....!?
Michael Folsom
Michael Folsom Oct 04, 2019 1:34PM ET
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I'd love Powell to shock the markets when he talks at 11am PST
Van Doza
Van Doza Oct 04, 2019 1:34PM ET
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You must be short the market; tell us why
Wayne Ng
Wayne Ng Oct 04, 2019 1:11PM ET
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US data is always patchy for market to interpret
Peter Mold
SirDoom Oct 04, 2019 12:35PM ET
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Unempmoyment 3.5, CPI (inflation) salary increasing. Why cut rates?Secondly reading into report I get unemp rate to (5769/158269) 3,65%. Somerhing wrong with numbers?
Kenny Venezia
Kenny Venezia Oct 04, 2019 12:35PM ET
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it's all smoke & mirrors. this economy is going down
Hank Williams
Hank Williams Oct 04, 2019 12:25PM ET
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S&P is way to high. Being kept artificially high by wealthy funds. Won't go down any more than what the handleful of insiders will allow.
radhames echavarria
radhames echavarria Oct 04, 2019 12:00PM ET
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These guys are always "Losing" why they hire them.
Derek Klardie
Derek Klardie Oct 04, 2019 9:58AM ET
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Bad news is good news and good news is good news. They do what they want when they want. The market is totally rigged.
Neetesh Jain
Neetesh Jain Oct 04, 2019 9:58AM ET
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Rightly said.
Rik Raq
Rik Raq Oct 04, 2019 9:58AM ET
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Bad news was good news tuesday and wednesday?
Andrew Hook
Andrew Hook Oct 04, 2019 9:58AM ET
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Odd I win, Even you lose ;)
HUNG NGUYEN
HUNG NGUYEN Oct 04, 2019 9:08AM ET
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It is a negative note since The Fed won't cut interest rate this month due to good US economy based on lowest unemployment rate in 50 years reported this morning !
Aaron Last Name
Aaron Last Name Oct 04, 2019 8:53AM ET
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ending Friday on a positive note.
 
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